MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky Court will hold hearing of arguments under the case against former Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukaev charged with accepting a $2 mln bribe during which the prosecutor will state the punishment he considers to be just for the former minister.
At the previous hearing on November 28, the prosecuting attorneys and defenders ended presenting their evidences. During the hearing, the court declined to send a new request for summons to Rosneft’s head Igor Sechin and rejected the prosecutors’ appeal to release his testimony given during the investigation due to the defenders’ protest. Ulyukaev’s lawyer Daridzhan Kveidze noted that the state prosecutors cannot use this evidence in disputes and the court cannot use them in its verdict.
During the previous hearing an expert in psycholinguistics said he had not found any sings of provocation in Sechin’s actions when giving a bribe to Ulyukaev. The former minister earlier told the court he had not bribed money from Sechin, but had fallen prey of a provocation.
Ulyukaev was taken into custody on November 14, 2016, by the Russian Investigative Committee authorities in Rosneft’s office for extorting a $2 mln bribe from the oil company’s chief Igor Sechin. Ulyukaev demanded a bribe from Sechin to green light the deal on purchasing Bashneft’s shares and threatened to impede Rosneft’s lawful activities with negative audits against the company’s other deals if his demand was turned down, prosecutors say.
Experts found a special substance on the minister’s hands that was also discovered on the handle of the case containing the money. According to investigators, the first briefcase was given to Ulyukaev in one of the company offices on that day and he was allegedly promised to get the second case delivered to his car.
The former minister is charged under Part 6 Article 290 of the Russian Criminal Code ("Large-scale bribery taken by a civil servant"). He pled not guilty, but stated his intention to cooperate with investigators. Ulyukaev became the first federal minister in Russian history to be arrested while in office. In November 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his dismissal due to his loss of trust.